Finding the best way to relieve stress and anxiety is a focus for Bendigo Senior Secondary College students this week.
The school hosted its annual Well-being Week with students offered a variety of ways to relax and unwind when the pressures of life and exams become too much.
BSSC’s Well-being Week sees students joining in Zumba and contemporary dance sessions, learning yoga, cooking and creating stress management kits.
Some students also cuddled up with therapy animals while others enjoyed a barbecue and a game of ping pong or created their own “coping kit”.
BSSC well-being coordinator Jess Neale said people don’t perform at their best when they are anxious or stressed.
“The idea (for students) is that often coming to exams, the focus is on the final outcome and students can get more stressed, which makes it harder for them to perform,” Ms Neale said.
“The most important thing we reinforce is that exams are one part of the journey and that there are so many different pathways for people.
“Well-being Week is a chance for them to reset, have some fun, take some of those (relaxation) practices into life outside of school.”
The school’s well-being adviser Donna Kelly said students usually preferred to talk with friends as the best way to relieve stress.
“Students like to talk with anyone friends or someone they trust and a lot of students self refer to well-being team,” she said.
“It’s about supporting one another when you recognise you’re not travelling too well.
“We get a lot more students feeling comfortable to come along to talk about any issues and the turn out this week shows people are keen to talk about well-being.
“It is important to get this sort of thing out and about to reduce stigma and show it's okay to talk about your worries as well as celebrate well-being and focus on the fun things in life as well.”
Ms Neale said students got a say in what sort of activities were part of Wellbeing Week.
”We spoke with students about what they might like and a lot wanted the opportunity to spend time with animals,” she said.
“So we have got some therapy dogs here today, and also the petting zoo. There's evidence that shows spending time with animals decreases anxiety and stress.”
The week ends on Friday with a day devoted to social connection and having fun.